‘Daughter Drop Off’ Sign Near Queen’s University Sparks Anger, Protest

Kingston, Ont. residents were greeted with a startling sight during Queen’s University’s move-in weekend.

“Daughter drop off” proclaimed a bedsheet hanging outside a Brock Street house on Labour Day.

A photo of the sign was shared on social media, prompting reactions from many people, including the university’s principal and vice-chancellor Daniel Woolf and Kingston city councillor Jim Neill.

Many argued the sign supported “rape culture” and protesters soon arrived at the house to show their disapproval of the sign, the Kingston Heritage reported.

No one was home, but demonstrators left messages for the tenants.

The sign was soon removed from the house after people called both campus security and Kingston police.

Mike Young is a 24-year-old Queen’s graduate who now works in the university’s human rights office. He told HuffPost Canada that he felt tired and frustrated with the situation when he heard about it on social media because these types of incidents and resulting discussions happen every year during fall orientation time at the university.

“I do understand the social/political place that we’re in right now where a lot of folks seem to feel… that everyone takes offence to everything and we’re not allowed to joke anymore and I understand where that comes from,” he said.

But he said that he doesn’t understand how the perpetrators can justify making a few people laugh when they have been told repeatedly that their words can traumatize some people and make others feel objectified.

“I don’t understand how knowing that…people still think that it’s worth it,” he said.

I’ve been working at Queen’s since 1996 and we’ve seen repeatedly every year signs of this nature or worse.Susan Lord, who organized a protest about the sign

Susan Lord, who organized the protest outside the house with the sign, agreed that it wasn’t an isolated incident.

“I’ve been working at Queen’s since 1996 and we’ve seen repeatedly every year signs of this nature or worse,” she told the Kingston Heritage. “Queen’s has a very strong policy around having a safe campus community and signs like this promote a lack of safety for women on campus.”

Young also said that the conversation around university “rape culture” was coming on the heels of what he saw as a “unified” campus response to Queen’s student Chance Macdonald’s short sentence for assaulting a 16-year-old girl. Macdonald’s controversial sentence was pushed back four months so that he could keep an internship, according to the Kingston Whig-Standard.

That was one of the most unifying social media responses I’ve seen where people from all sorts of different ideological backgrounds were agreeing for the first time it seemed.Mike Young

“It was a tricky time to be delving into conversations about rape culture on campus and that was one of the most unifying social media responses I’ve seen where people from all sorts of different ideological backgrounds were agreeing for the first time, it seemed, and that was really empowering,” he said.

Young added that he didn’t think Queen’s students actively sought out to perpetuate “rape culture,” but that they had a bad habit of “glossing over how people feel, glossing over the consequences to their actions or their words because they feel that everyone is just hypersensitive and it’s just this [political correctness] culture and it has nothing to do with reality so we’re not even gonna listen to how people are feeling.”

He also said he thought Queen’s was a reflection of a bigger, systemic problem across university campuses that needs to be continuously worked on.

Woolf told Global News that university security had visited the house with the sign and filed a non-academic misconduct complaint.

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